According to information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 7.4% of high school seniors have used a substance from the “tranquilizer” category in their lifetime. This category includes benzodiazepines like Xanax. Alarmingly, this rate is seven times the rate of heroin use and about 4 times the rate of methamphetamine.
“It all began with a friend saying one day ‘here take this; it will take the edge off.’ “That one pill that on that one day began an odyssey of numbing and self-medicating that lasted years.” says former Tranquil Shores client Patty L.
The drug is Xanax, an extremely popular member of the benzodiazepine family. Benzos, as they are commonly known, are a class of psychoactive drugs that enhance the effect of the GABA in your brain resulting in sedative, hypnotic, sleep-inducing, anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant properties. They are viewed as safe and effective for short-term use. Short-term being the operative word.
“That’s the part I was never told, I had over 5 doctors in 10 years continue to prescribe the Xanax for daily use, no questions asked!” Patty used the Xanax daily, as prescribed, until the death of her husband when she began to take more and more. “Until the day I ran out and I had a week to go on my refill. I did some research and realized I was an addict and getting off this stuff was not going to be easy!” After a hospital detox, Patty arrived at Tranquil Shores.” I thought I was in another class of drug addicts, after all, I had a prescription, I wasn’t using street drugs!” But only after a few weeks at Tranquil Shores, Patty learned that she was an addict like any other; that it was the manner in which she used the drugs to self-medicate that put her on the same scale as her fellow clients with various addictions.
Understanding her addiction, “by mistake,” as she calls it, was the turning point for Patty at Tranquil Shores. “Admitting you have a problem is the first step,” after that I began the beautiful road to recovery with the enormous help of the fine staff at Tranquil Shores,” she says. Patty is an active member of the Tranquil Shores Alumni and is enjoying her new life, sober and happy. “ I was able to re-locate to the area after treatment and continue to garner strength and encouragement from the folks at Tranquil Shores, their support is life-long!